Arcanum: A Single Spark Can Ignite the World by Simon Morden

By Simon Morden

Rome used to be the heart of the main strong empire the realm had ever noticeable, yet that didn't cease it falling to Alaric the Goth, his horde of barbarian tribesmen and their wild spell-casting shamen. Having break up the partitions with their sorcery and slaughtered the population with their axes, the victors carved up the empire right into a sequence of bickering states which have been by no means greater than an insult clear of war.

A thousand years later, and Europe has turn into a nearly civilized position. The rulers of the previous Roman palatinates confine their conflict to the fast summer season months, alternate prospers alongside the rivers and roads, and farming has develop into much less back-breaking, all as a result magic, bestowed by way of gods, that infuses day-by-day life.

Even the barbarians' gods were tamed: the place as soon as human sacrifices poured their blood onto the floor, there are events and picnics, consuming and making a song, healthy for hot humans and their children.

But it seems like the gods are going to have the final giggle earlier than they slip quietly into ill-remembered obscurity...

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Couldn’t defeat the progress of science: blow into the bag, pee in the bottle, blood smear under the microscope and there you were, fucked without a kiss. Charlie looked up, neck aching from the effort. To his right, the bridge illuminations necklaced the Thames, chokers of ambers and yellows and whites and reds. Charlie blinked, trying to sharpen the blur. Too bright to be Battersea Bridge. The Albert then. Shit: he’d done it again. He peered across the road for confirmation and got it from the road sign.

Up to here with traitors and super-spies,’ he said. For some inexplicable reason, the Ministry of Works, which was responsible for government decoration, considered buildings south of the river to be modern, for which Wilson was grateful. There was the obligatory bookcase, with its stuck-together tomes, but otherwise he was spared Naire-Hamilton’s working conditions. There were even two Dora Carrington pictures on the wall. The window view of the river included St Paul’s and the furniture was sufficiently contemporary not to make the television set, on which Wilson sometimes watched afternoon horse racing, appear obtrusive.

Charlie thought he should have received a pension. They were awarded for hernias and other army disabilities. And he was bloody sure that’s what he had – a provable disability from stamping around national service parade grounds in boots weighing a ton and over which they’d made him crouch, day after day, burning out the toecap lumps with a hot spoon and then polishing and spitting and polishing and spitting, to get a shine. It was to escape from the parade ground that he’d sat the examination for the intelligence corps, competing with the Sandhurst failures who gargled their words and had MG sports cars to take advantage of the weekend passes they always seemed able to get.

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